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Wake up call artist Hank Willis Thomas wants to spur voter turnout with the Wide Awakes group

Posted by: Rafael Salazar

Event #: 1 of 44 : Nationwide Events

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Wake up call artist Hank Willis Thomas wants to spur voter turnout with the Wide Awakes group

Individually we are asleep. Together we are awake.

Based on the 1860 Wide Awake movement that mobilized against slavery and helped elect Lincoln, the new network of artists and creatives has launched Kickstarter's largest collaboration to date.
A group known as the Wide Awakes, originally launched in January by Hank Willis Thomas, is now working to organize a large network of artists, cultural workers and activists in hopes of fighting injustice and getting out the vote in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

Comprised of artists like Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, Arthur Jafa and Rafa Esparza, along with organizations such as Creative Time, For Freedoms and the Guild of Future Architects, the Wide Awake network takes their name from an outspoken group of 19th-century abolitionists who helped to elect Abraham Lincoln. Thomas's Wide Awake group defines itself as “a network of like minds who create in the name of liberation, artist sovereignty, and the evolution of society" that aims "to radically reimagine the future and enable self-emancipation", according to its mission statement.

While most of their events so far have been spontaneous at marches and rallies that had already been planned, the Wide Awakes are now planning their first coordinated march on 3 October, to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the Grand Procession of the Wide Awakes, in which 10,000 protesters marched through New York City in advance of Lincoln's election. The event will be held in cities across the country as well as virtually.

Who are The Wide Awakes? YOU ARE!

The Wide Awakes believe art has the power to wake people up. Artists are always at the vanguard of social change, and art is a tool to educate, motivate, and activate our citizenry, inspire us, open our hearts and minds, and transform our lives.

In this election year and beyond, we’re gathering all of our creative ventures under a common umbrella to unleash the power of art on an unprecedented scale.

Working together, we make the culture—we are the culture—that makes the future.


16th September 2020 19:16 BST


513 West 20th Street

New York, NY 10011


October 3rd, 2020 (Saturday)

November 3rd, 2020 (Tuesday)

Registration Information

Registration is NOT Required

Event Coordinator

Hank Willis Thomas

Event Coordinator

studio - at -